Divorce Proceedings in India
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The rate of divorces in India has been increasing day by day as compared to past few decades ago. With changing time the major boost for the number of divorces have been mainly because of an individual's increased freedom of thought and expression and slowly fading social and cultural bindings. Divorce proceedings in India involves a long and complicated process, taking over a year to complete. The process is governed by Indian law and the rules differ according to different religion of the couple like Hindus (including Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists), Muslims and Parsis.
The formal proceedings of divorce starts with filing a petition for divorce at the respective court of law. The types of divorce may vary from uncontested/ mutual consent divorce to a contested divorce. The former type is much easier and faster to complete compared to a contested divorce, which is both time consuming and expensive.
Acts that govern the Divorce Proceedings in India
Grounds in Divorce Proceedings in India
Divorce by Mutual Consent
The process of obtaining a mutual divorce is simpler when compared with a contested divorce procedure. In India, if the spouses can resolve all sorts of disputes (like those of child custody, maintenance etc) and reach an agreement, then they can attempt this kind of divorce.
The Hindu Marriage Act, Section 13B specifies that a couple can file a mutual divorce only after they have resided apart from each other for minimum one year. Both the partners must jointly state that they are unable to continue the marital relation due to some unavoidable condition. Both the spouses must accede with one another voluntarily to dissolve the marriage.
Almost 95% divorce cases filed in India are contested presently. Since the couple fails to reach an agreement in issues of child custody, support, alimony, property and assets division, the court intervenes and makes decisions for them. One of the spouses files the petition for divorce at the court stating the grounds for divorce. The grounds are mentioned in the acts passed out separately for different Indian religions as mentioned above. A 'vakalatnama' has to be signed by the spouse to authorize the lawyer fight the case on behalf of him/ her. The couple needs to submit copies of necessary documents like Income Tax statements, Salary slips, documents related to property and assets, etc. Following this, the court sends a notice and a copy of petition by registered post to the former spouse with a specified date to appear in the court. It takes more than few months to years to get the divorce finally based on several factors. During hearing or trial, the spouse may need to provide relevant evidence for the ground of divorce to get a ruling in favor of him/ her.
To conclude, the divorce proceedings in India involves a long phase of emotional and financial turmoil. It is always advisable to consult an experienced and good lawyer to help complete the formalities in a proper way. An individual considering or going through a divorce must be well prepared mentally to confront all negative situations arising out of emotional, social and economical bindings.
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